Bartonella henselae and Rickettsia felis detected in cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) derived from eastern Austrian cats.
Cats and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are vectors of the zoonotic bacterial pathogens Bartonella henselae and Rickettsia felis, which are the causative agents of "cat scratch disease" and "cat flea typhus," respectively. In the surroundings of Vienna (Austria), we identified 11 (10.5%; n=105) B. henselae-positive fleas originating from 8 cats (20.5%; n=39). One flea was positive for R. felis. There should be high levels of awareness among veterinarians and animal keepers as to the handling of cats, especially if free roaming, stray, or feral.